Since humankind is a social creature they live with others in a society which. Religion forms the identities of societies by its rules and dogmas. Although the belief systems, gods or templates differ from society to society, the religion phenomena exist in every culture from ancient times to today. Therefore, religion has beenone of the most important and effective thing in the world that direct the civilizations and the stream of history. In this context, the religious beliefs of ancient times are worth to examine. The first and the so the most important ones are the Sumerian and Ancient Egypt religions. There are many similarities and differences between their religious beliefs, as it is understood from the writtentexts of Egypt and Sumerian. Especially Egyptians’ ‘The Book of the Dead’, which mentions about religion and afterlife and the Sumerian epic ‘ Epic of Gilgamesh’ provides us with clues to analyze the belief systems.
Politheism was the cornerstone of the both Sumerian and Egyptian religion. There were many gods in Ancient Egypt such as Amun, Ammut, Horus, Isis, Khnum, Neith, Anubis, Ra, Osiris,Ptah, Seth, Thoth, (James, 1987) and god and godess in Sumeria called Enlil, Emesh, Enki, Ninsun, An. These gods were responsible to ruly the country. Some of them are mentioned in The Book of The Dead and in The Epic of Gilgamesh, both directly and indirectly. In Gilgamesh, it can be seen the different gods and goddess planly:
‘...Anu, Enlil, and Shamash held a council, and Anu spoke toEnlil..’,
’.. Enlil, the Father of the Gods, Enlil the Counselor...’
Similarly, it is possible to see the different gods in the Bokk of The Dead:
‘...Thy throne hath descended unto thy son Horus. The god Tmu hath decreed that his course shall be among the holy princes. Saith Osiris, the scribe Ani...’
"...Hail, Tmu! What manner [of land] is this into which I have come? It hath not water, it hath notair; it is deep unfathomable...’
Except from the polytheism, features of ‘god’ phenomena is almost the same in both cultures. They had an ordinary human body, families and children and they also love, hate, eat like ordinary people though they were immortal had supernatural powers. This situation can be observed in both cultures by the helps of texts that are belong to Egyptians and Sumerians.For instance, In the Book of the Dead, sentences like
‘...I am the son, and Ra is my father...’
‘...Ani and his wife standing with hands raised in adoration before the god Thoth, who has ankh, "life," upon his knees, and is seated on a pylon-shaped throne.’ Hail, Thoth! What is it that hath happened unto the holy children of Nut...?’ shows us how gods had families as if they are humans.Moreover, sentences in the Epic of Gilgamesh,
‘ Then Enlil (air god) became angry at Shamash(sun god) saying: 'it is you who are responsible because you traveled daily
with them as their friend!",
‘...The gods were frightened by the Flood,
and retreated, ascending to the heaven of Anu. The gods were cowering like dogs, crouching by the outer wall. Ishtar shrieked like a woman inchildbirth...’
are the indicators of ancient gods in Sumeria and Egypt had emotions and relatives like people.
There was no close personal tie between the ordinary Sumerian and Egyptian peple and the gods. Their relationships were not direct. Pharaoh was the intermediary between gods and ordinary people. In Sumeria, gods declare what they want from people by the dreams.
Although Egyptians andSumerians believed in afterlife,. Egyptians believed that the human body had to be preserved in order to take a place for their spirit to dwell in the after death. Therefore, large pyramids were constructed as homes for dead bodies of pharaohs in the Old Kingdom (Budge, 1987). Moreover, because of this belief, mummification was performed to preserve the body. The Book of The Dead is a guide for...